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Heritage Open Days

Various dates

Tickets

Tickets for bookable tours go on sale from 9 September.

We will have extended opening hours on Saturday 17 September of Heritage Weekend, between 6.30pm - 9pm.

Entry is free during the evening and a number of free Cathedral tours are available to book on the Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. A family friendly Monastic Tour is also taking place on Saturday morning. The Stained Glass Museum has extended opening hours over the weekend. More details below.

Saturday 17 September, 6.45pm & 7.45pm
Evening Octagon Tower Tours

Marvel at the Octagon Tower and lantern. Acknowledged as one of the wonders of medieval engineering, this incredible structure, suspended high over the centre of the Cathedral, was completed in 1342 and is considered the jewel in the Cathedral crown. The fascinating tour, over 170 steps with an experienced guide, takes you behind the scenes of the lantern, discovers its fascinating history and opens up the angel doors so you can peer down into the Cathedral.

Limited places available. Pre-booking required. 2 tickets per tour available per booking.
Booking opens via this website on 9 September at 9am.

Saturday 17 September, 6.45pm & 7.45pm
Evening West Tower Tours
The west tower dominates the Fenland landscape and is well worth the 288 step climb, rewarding you with stunning views over the beautiful, historic city and the surrounding fens. The famous tower features in many well-known literary publications including Tom’s Midnight Garden.

Limited places available. Pre-booking required. 2 tickets per tour available per booking.
Booking opens via this website on 9 September at 9am.

Saturday 17 September, 11.30am & 2.30pm& Sunday 18 September, 2.30pm
Daytime Monastic Tours
Join our knowledgeable guides and discover the history of the Monastic precinct at Ely Cathedral, one of the largest collections of medieval Monastic buildings still in use. On this outdoor tour you will discover the history of the buildings and the stories they tell.

Limited places available. Pre-booking required. 2 tickets per tour available per booking.
Booking opens via this website on 9 September at 9am.

Saturday 17 September, between 6.30pm and 8.30pm
Evening Ground Floor Tours
Explore the spectacular Nave, beautiful Lady Chapel and Presbytery of Ely Cathedral.

No booking required. Places allocated on a first come first served basis.

The Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral

Saturday 17 September, 10.30am
Heritage Heros

No booking required
. Places allocated on a first come first served basis.

Meet our Heritage Heroes on a family friendly monastic tour. Join Ely Cathedral Learning Team on a tour of the monastic buildings in the Cathedral grounds. You'll meet a number of Heritage Heroes with connections to the Cathedral and monastery as you go.

Find out why Saxon warrior, Brythnoth, lost the battle of Maldon and how he came to rest here, meet Alan de Walsingham as he surveys his Octagon tower and bump into royalty as you meet Queen Philippa outside her new house.

We'll be exploring the monastic history of the Cathedral as we go, discovering how the buildings were used and by whom before finishing our tour at the Physick Garden where our medieval healers will explain more about their work and how they use the garden.

This family friendly tour is suitable for all ages.

The Stained Glass Museum is opening free of charge at the following times over Heritage Open Weekend.

Saturday 17 September, 6pm - 9pm (last admission 8.30pm)
Sunday 18 September, 12.30pm - 3.30pm (last admission 3pm)

The Stained Glass Museum is a hidden gem in Ely, and one of only a handful of such museums in the world. Located on an upper level of Ely Cathedral, the museum has a national collection of stained glass window art, much of which was rescued from redundant churches, hospitals or houses. In the museum's main gallery you can see illuminated examples of this historic art from the 13th to the 21st centuries up close and at eye-level.

Spotlight tours will be running during these events. Led by a member of our staff team and lasting 5-10 mins these tours will shine a spotlight on different aspects of our collection, giving you a greater insight into the artworks on display.

Pre-booking is not necessary, but please note we may have to limit numbers to one in / one out during busy times due to capacity.